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Apple Crumble Tart

 This is not your typical Apple Pie recipe. Dare I say it, possibly even better than Apple Pie! Who doesn’t love a crumble topping? 

 The source of this brilliant recipe is the amazing John Whaite. He is the winner for Series 3 (“the beginnings” collection on Netflix) of the Great British Baking Show. During the COVID-19 Pandemic, John has been home quarantining and he’s been posting new bakes on his Instagram stories practically everyday.

I, of course, have been watching them all religiously. He gives great little tips during his baking demonstrations. I feel like I learn a lot from watching him and I definitely learned a few cool new baking techniques during his Apple Crumble Tart demonstration.

The Crust

First thing is the crust which is made with softened butter… never heard of that before! This is not your normal shortcrust pastry where you throw in the dry ingredients and cut in the cold butter until it’s crumbly. This crust starts off like a cookie recipe where you cream together the butter and sugar, and then add the egg. The egg then curdles in the butter and looks messy. 

At this point if it was cookies, I would just throw in the flour and call it a day, BUT instead John suggests putting the bowl over a pot with barely simmering water and whisking (or beating) until the butter and egg emulsify. They go from this curdled mess to a super glossy mayonnaise-like texture. This technique keeps the crust from getting tough and it’s super cool! All the egg needs is a little bit of heat to properly combine with the butter. I don’t know why I find it so amazing, but I do.

After the butter, sugar, and egg combined, I just had to cut in the flour and then stick in the fridge in siran wrap while I made the filling and topping.

The Filling

The apple filling in this recipe is cooked before it’s added into the pie which is also new for me. Cooking it beforehand though ensures no soggy bottom! All the liquid that comes out of the apples is cooked out before being put into the pie. 

After peeling and dicing all my apples (I used a combination of Gala, McIntosh and Granny Smith), I threw half of them into a big pot that already had brown sugar and butter simmering in it. Why only half? Because the first half gets cooked down into an almost applesauce-like state and then the rest are added in to cook until they’re tender but still hold their shape. 

This cooking process turns the apples into a rather yummy filling that could definitely be eaten right out of the pot (which I did). 

Crumbles and Assembly

Last thing was make the crumbly topping which just required combining all the ingredients with my hands until they started forming into nice big crumbly pieces. 

With all the prep done, I rolled out my crust and I ended up using a 9-Inch springform pan because I wanted to have flat sides like John did and I don’t have an actual tart pant that size. The pan you use is definitely flexible, use what you have. However, I would recommend using a tin where the sides can come off. You can use a pie dish and just not take it out too. 

After I put my crust in my greased pan, I pricked the bottom with a fork and put in my filling and topped it with the crumble topping. The only thing I would do differently next time is actually double the amount of crumble filling I made, which I updated in the recipe below. I believe John’s pan was smaller than mine which is why I think I need more. I also just like a lot of crumbles.

I recommend eating this hot with some whipped cream or vanilla ice cream or both! If you are a lover of anything apple you will most definitely love this! 

You can watch John make the Apple Tart in his Instagram Highlights

Apple Crumble Tart

With Love, Melissa. Recipe from John Whaite, Adapted to Dairy Free
A delicious step up from apple pie.
Prep Time 1 hr
Cook Time 30 mins
Course Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
Cuisine American
Servings 8



  • ½ Cup (1 stick) Dairy Free Butter, softened
  • ¼ Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 ⅔ Cups All-Purpose Flour
  • ¼ Tsp Salt


  • 10 Apples, peeled, cored, and diced
  • 1 Cup Dark Brown Sugar
  • Cup Dairy Free Butter
  • 2 Tsp Vanilla Extract

Crumble Topping

  • 2 Cup All-Purpose Flour
  • ¾ Cup Dairy Free Butter, softened
  • ½ Cup Dark Brown Sugar


  • Gather your crust ingredients. Beat together softened butter and sugar. In a small pot you can put your bowl over, get a small amount of water barely simmering, put the bowl on top of the pot (water not touching the bowl) and beat egg into butter and sugar for a few minutes until it emulsifies into a glossy smooth mixture.
  • Take off heat and cut in flour gently with a spatula until it just incorporates into a ball. Form into a flattened disc and cover with siran wrap. Refrigerate for at least 45 minutes.
  • Put a large pot on medium heat and add the butter and brown sugar and mix together. Once the butter sugar mixture starts bubbling, add half the apples. Mix the apples frequently on medium to medium-high heat for about 15 minutes until they cook down to mush and there's very little liquid left in the pot.
  • Add the remaining apples and cook for another 10 to 15 minutes until the apples are tender and the liquid has cooked out. Take off the heat and mix in the vanilla. Set aside and let cool.
  • Combine the flour, butter, and brown sugar for crumble topping in a large bowl. Incorporate using hands until everything is combined and you're left with a nice crumbly mix.
  • Preheat oven to 375°F. Take the crust out of the refrigerator and put on a lightly floured surface to roll out. With a rolling pin, roll out the dough and rotate it a bit after every roll so it doesn't stick to the counter. It should be rolled out to about 1/4 inch thick.
  • Grease a 9-Inch springform or tart tin and mold crust into it. Put rolling pin over top to cut off the extra bits. Prick all over the bottom of the crust with a fork. Then add in filling. Put crumbles on top. Bake for about 30-40 minutes. Wait until its completely cool to take out of tin. Enjoy!
Keyword Dairy-Free

If you’re looking for another apple-y dessert, check out this Apple Pear Tarte Tatin, Homemade Applesauce, or Apple Hand Pies.

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